Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason: Couple at the Centre of the American Art World

Husband and wife artists Kahn and Mason’s private art collection reflects and celebrates their relationships with other artists, and represents the ‘relationships, themes and eras’ of the second half of the 20th century. American artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason carved out intensely singular paths with their art — and yet they were never alone.

Mason’s airy studio in Chelsea, New York, featured what she called a ‘wall of friends’: a collection of paintings by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Mary Cassatt, whom she described as ‘friends or those whom I would like to befriend’. Kahn’s Village studio included a vibrant piece by Pierre Bonnard, the French painter whose sun-dappled canvases inspired the artist’s own work, especially in his early years. The deep-rooted connection the couple felt with other artists they knew or admired is the defining factor of their remarkable collection of modern and contemporary art, to be offered on 18 May in New York.

Featuring works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Motherwell, among many others, as well as paintings by Mason and Kahn themselves, the sale showcases a couple ‘at the centre of the American art world in the second half of the 20th century,’ explains Christie’s American Art specialist Paige Kestenman.

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